Tag Archives: League of Arizona Cities and Towns Conference

August 31, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference

The 2017 League Annual Conference was held at the Hilton El Conquistador in Oro Valley, August 22 – August 25. Our entire Surprise City Council were joined by elected officials from 91 other cities and towns and some of our state legislators. The conference is a platform for Arizona’s mayors and councilmembers to network and share best practices, innovative ideas and successful strategies.

The conference opened with an excellent general session with keynote speaker Dr. Lowell Catlett whose discussion focused on the mega trends shaping tomorrow’s communities. In addition, I attended sessions pertaining to water and wastewater needs- trends and investments; as well as increasing jobs and growth, focusing on municipal priorities and capitalizing on new opportunities to drive economic growth. Councilmembers and city staff held meetings onsite with Central Arizona Project (CAP), EPCOR and NEXXUS Consulting to discuss updates on CAP, including our current water supply, the new EPCOR rates, recent EPCOR concerns and improving our city’s transportation, respectively.

Ottawa University Surprise

Aerial image of inaugural class of OUAZThe inaugural class of OUAZ has begun! Classes started on Monday, August 21! Total enrollment (434 students), has surpassed Ottawa’s original target goal of 200 students. The university offers 21 intercollegiate sports and offers degrees from the School of Arts & Sciences, School of Education and School of Business. In addition to this great news, OUAZ women’s soccer team won their first ever OUAZ athletic contest beating Arizona Christian 1-0! Congratulations on your successes!

I encourage you to follow the excitement of our newest treasure on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OUSurprise.

Early Childhood Summit

I attended the First Things First Summit at the Phoenix Convention Center on Monday, August 28. The Summit brought together professionals, stakeholders and supporters of early childhood education and health to share innovative strategies, research and practices that help our youth get ready for school and build a strong foundation for life. The conference included sessions on child health and development, early learning and very important to me – early literacy and community awareness.

Homeschool Educators of Surprise

The Homeschool Educators of Surprise held their kick-off event at Northwest Regional Library on Monday, August 28. I was honored to speak at the event and engage with this passionate group of parents. Educating our youth is one of our greatest responsibilities. It is amazing to see how many parents are utilizing their time and talent to invest in the education of their children. This group consists of approximately 120 parents who homeschool their children.

Council Conversation on Surprise TV

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Chair Susan DeJong, Commissioner Lee Whitehead and City Planner Joshua Mike joined me for my latest Council Conversation taping regarding a variety of topics involving arts and events in Surprise on Wednesday, August 30. The show will be available to watch on Surprise TV beginning next week, you can find it at www.surpriseaz.gov/surprisetv. If you have any ideas for future show topics, please let me know!

West-MEC (Western Maricopa Education Center) Tour

West-MEC Superintendent Greg Donovan provided me with a tour of the new West-MEC campus on Wednesday, August 30. The Northwest Campus is located on the southwest corner of Dysart Road and Grand Avenue in Surprise. The campus will open later this fall to high school students. This particular campus will focus on automotive, computer technology, construction, health and beauty and medical industries.

Ottawa University Competition Field Groundbreaking Ceremony

City Councilmembers joined administrators from Ottawa University at the August 31st groundbreaking ceremony for the competition field. The competition field will be located south of the tennis complex on Tierra Buena and it will accommodate the OUAZ football and soccer programs.


Mark Your Calendar

City Offices Closed for Labor Day

City of Surprise administrative offices will be closed on Monday, September 4 in observance of Labor Day.

City of Surprise trash and recycling customers ONLY are reminded that collection will be postponed by one day the week of September 4-8. Monday collection will occur on Tuesday; Tuesday collection will occur on Wednesday and so forth. Please note that not all Surprise residents are City of Surprise trash and recycling customers, hence, you may not experience a change in pick-up services. Please check with your respective service provider(s). If you have any questions, please call our customer service line at 623.222.6000.

Fall Cleanup Event – Free

It is the perfect time to prune your landscape, clean out your garage and take advantage of the Fall Cleanup Event on Saturday, September 16. The event allows Surprise residents to drop off up to 2,000 pounds of residential waste free-of-charge at the Northwest Regional Landfill, 19401 W. Deer Valley Road, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Items that will be accepted include lawn waste and other typical household refuse. Participants will be required to show proof of Surprise residency, via a driver’s license and electric bill showing the same home address.

NOTE: Hazardous waste items will not be accepted during this event. Items such as paint, batteries, tires and pool chemicals will be collected at the city’s Household Hazardous Waste event, October 14 from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Firefox Drive.

For more information about either event, please call the City of Surprise Customer Service Line at 623.222.6000, or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/sanitation.


Did You Know?

Help Our City Collect Water Bottles for Hurricane Harvey Survivors

The City is partnering with Highland Prep High School to collect 100,000 water bottles to benefit the survivors, volunteers and first responders in Houston, Texas. We will be accepting cases of water in the City Hall lobby (16000 N. Civic Center Plaza) through 5 pm on Tuesday, September 5. Please feel free to deliver the water immediately behind our information desk at City Hall or the Surprise Police Department, 14250 W. Statler Plaza.

City Hall is open Monday through Friday from 8 am until 5 pm but we are closed in observance of Labor Day on Monday, September 4. Thank you in advance for your generosity to this cause!

Neighborhood Grant Program Application Now Available

The Surprise City Council approved funding to support the Neighborhood Grant Program that provides eligible neighborhoods with small grants to fund neighborhood events, functions or even some community improvements. Recognizing an opportunity to encourage community engagement and further build strong relationships with communities in Surprise, the city designated $10,000 to support the grant program for FY18.

To be considered, projects must meet the following program criteria:

  • Provide a public benefit
  • Result in a product, which benefits a neighborhood or the larger Surprise Community
  • Be feasible for completion by June 2018
  • Involve the benefiting neighborhood in project identification, planning and execution
  • Emphasize neighborhood self-help; or be educational, community-building, or a public physical improvement
  • Final report due and presentation to the Sub-Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships and Grants on June 13, 2018

Additionally, a minimum of 5 neighbors within the residential area must sign the application and support the idea; neighborhoods governed by a homeowner association (HOA) must have HOA approval.

Interested communities should deliver the complete Neighborhood Grant Program application to City Hall, attention Jodi Tas, by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 10. An information session will be held September 21, 2017 at 4:00 pm at Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza in the Council Overflow room.

For more information about the grant, visit Neighborhood Grant Program or contact Jodi Tas, 623.222.1330.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

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August 14, 2015 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Community Outreach at St. Mary’s Food Bank

On Saturday, August 8, I participated in the Second Saturday event through Radiant Church at St. Mary’s Food Bank in Surprise. There were 236 volunteers who sorted through two full trailers of food equaling an impressive 41,739 pounds, bagged 9,646 pounds of pasta, cleaned and painted the facility and installed new flooring. The volunteer outreach was truly incredible!

woman loading food box

Volunteers sort items at St. Mary's Food Bank

St. Mary's Food Bank logo

Hampton Inn 10 Year Anniversary Celebration

Hampton Inn & Suites celebrated their 10 year anniversary on Sunday, August 9. Several members of the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce and I were present. I am always appreciative of the opportunities to celebrate the success of our local businesses.

Palm Vista Baptist Church Ribbon Cutting

Councilman Winters and I attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the new worship building of Palm Vista Baptist Church on Tuesday, August 11. The new 16,000 square foot building will seat 650 worshipers and host a variety of community services and programs during the week. Congratulations to Palm Vista on their new addition!

Ribbon being cut at Palm Vista Baptist Church

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Business Outreach Update Meeting

City staff, Mayor Wolcott, Councilwoman Villanueva and I met with representatives from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) on Thursday, August 13 to discuss the results of our joint business outreach initiative that took place earlier this summer. Almost 300 businesses were interviewed and surveys were received by approximately 200 hundred of them.


Mark Your Calendar

Bullard Avenue Informational Meeting

The City invites the public to attend a community informational meeting regarding the recent changes along Bullard Avenue from Peoria Avenue to Greenway Road. The meeting will be held on Monday, August 17 at 6 pm at Marley Park Elementary School (15042 W. Sweetwater Avenue). Staff will be available to brief residents on the purpose and details of the changes and to answer any questions.

At the start of the school year a few weeks ago, the City added three new crosswalks on Bullard Avenue to provide safe access for the students attending the five schools within that area. With the new crosswalks in place, the speed limit was reduced from 45 mph to 35 mph and a second lane for traffic in each direction was eliminated. A bike lane was also added, as was a golf cart lane which provides a safety buffer between the traffic lane and bike lane.

Surprise Fiesta Grande

The Surprise Fiesta Grande will be held on October 17 from 2 pm until 10 pm. Admission will be free. More information will follow soon!

Surprise Fiesta Grande logo

2015 Harvest Festival

Benevilla and the City of Surprise will host their annual Harvest Festival on Friday, October 23 from 5 pm until 7 pm at the Surprise Community Garden, located at 16752 N. Greasewood Street. Admission is free. There will be free pumpkins, an art show, live music and much more!

Cotton Lane – Overnight Closings

Cotton Lane will be closed each evening, from 9 pm until 5 pm, between Cactus Road and Peoria Avenue beginning Monday, August 17 so that EPCOR may conduct waterline work. The evening closures should conclude on Friday, August 21. For more information, please call our Public Works Department at 623.222.6000.


Did You Know?

Surprise Public Safety Launches Veteran-preference Recruitment Policy

The City of Surprise Police and Fire-Medical Departments now offer preference points for military service veterans applying for the positions of police recruits and firefighters. Eligible veterans, who have served at least six months of active military duty, will be awarded an extra five points to their passing entrance recruitment exam score. To qualify, the veteran candidates must have been honorably discharged from military service.

For additional information on eligibility, please feel free to visit the recruitment pages of the Surprise Police and Surprise Fire-Medical Departments at www.surpriseaz.gov and click on the Public Safety Veterans Recruitment link.

Community Outreach Program

A City Council-led initiative to assist community organizations with providing programs and events that benefit the City of Surprise residents is now accepting applications. Funding for the Community Outreach Program was approved as part of the FY16 budget. The Surprise City Council set aside $40,000 to $50,000 for the program in an effort to support and grow qualified local programs and events.

To be considered, applicants must be a 501(c)3 organization or partner with a 501(c)3 verified agency. The maximum award per applicant is $10,000. According to program guidelines, funds are distributed by reimbursement through an invoice process.

A non-mandatory pre-application meeting that will include information about the program and application process will be held on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at 4 p.m. in the Surprise Senior Center Training Room, located at 15832 N. Hollyhock Street. Please sign in at the reception area in the lobby and ask for Janeen Gaskins.

Northwest Regional Library Hours Change

The City of Surprise and the Maricopa County Library District will be modifying the hours for the Northwest Regional Library effective August 31, 2015. The library will now be open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. and will have extended hours on Sundays, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. There are no changes to the Friday and Saturday hours which are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

League of Arizona Cities and Towns Conference

Next week, the League of Arizona Cities and Towns will host their annual conference in Tucson, Arizona. Due to the conference schedule, I will not produce a newsletter next week; however, the newsletters will continue the following week, and my August 21 newsletter will include a summary of the aforementioned conference.

Additionally, City Council cancelled their regularly scheduled meeting for the third Tuesday of August because of the conference. The next City Council Work Session and City Council Meeting are scheduled for Tuesday, September 1. Thank you for your understanding!


Contact Me


Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question